The Slatest

“A Storybook Marriage? No, Not at All”

Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann Romney walks on the floor before the start of the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

Over at Slate’s RNC Breakfast Table, John Dickerson shares his thoughts on what to expect from Ann Romney’s speech this evening:

“Romney’s staffer says Ann Romney’s speech is amazing—which seems like an unnecessary raising of expectations—but  it’s clear she has material that can pull on the heart strings. Ann Romney has had a brutal set of physical challenges and she’ll talk about that tonight. She has MS, is a breast cancer survivor, and has had multiple miscarriages. Ann Romney talked about her miscarriages recently in an interview with Scott Pelley. It was more than she had said before. These conventions tend to focus on the crucible moments to show us a side of candidates we haven’t seen before. Remember in 1992 when Al Gore told the wrenching story of his son nearly being killed in a car accident. In 1996 he talked about his sister’s cancer death. So the nominee’s wife will have to go a long way to match that mix of the personal and the political.

“I’m listening for the word “trust” from Ann Romney. The message is: I trust Mitt Romney and you should too.”

Judging solely from the excerpts of the speech that were just released, Ann lets John down when it comes to specifically dropping the T-word. But she nonetheless does pull on the heart strings with mentions of her MS and breast cancer, and her closing remarks deliver much the same one that John predicted.

Here are the excerpts (via Politico):

…Tonight I want to talk to you from my heart about our hearts.

I want to talk not about what divides us, but what holds us together as an American family. I want to talk to you tonight about that one great thing that unites us, that one thing that brings us our greatest joy when times are good, and the deepest solace in our dark hours.

Tonight I want to talk to you about love. …

Mitt’s dad never graduated from college. Instead, he became a carpenter.

He worked hard, and he became the head of a car company, and then the governor of Michigan.

When Mitt and I met and fell in love, we were determined not to let anything stand in the way of our life together. …

I read somewhere that Mitt and I have a “storybook marriage.” Well, in the storybooks I read, there were never long, long, rainy winter afternoons in a house with five boys screaming at once. And those storybooks never seemed to have chapters called MS or Breast Cancer.

A storybook marriage? No, not at all. What Mitt Romney and I have is a real marriage. …

At every turn in his life, this man I met at a high school dance, has helped lift up others.  He did it with the Olympics, when many wanted to give up. …

This is the man America needs.

This is the man who will wake up every day with the determination to solve the problems that others say can’t be solved, to fix what others say is beyond repair. This is the man who will work harder than anyone so that we can work a little less hard.

I can’t tell you what will happen over the next four years. But I can only stand here tonight, as a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an American, and make you this solemn commitment:

This man will not fail.

This man will not let us down.

This man will lift up America!